I know, I know, I say the same thing every time I disappear. I think I need to stop apologizing and just get to it: its been that kind of a year. So there was Congo, then 4 months in Cuba (which, by the way, the US State Department doesn’t allow me to blog about while I’m there due to embargo politics. I know.) Then a number of dance and film adventures over the summer and now we’re into the fall and my first international adventure was to Calabar, Nigeria, for the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF.) So now that you’re up to date, lets just start here shall we?
For anyone who knows anything about Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, nothing is simple and straightforward. Its like an allergic reaction to being predictable. Like predictability would ruin one’s street cred or something. Seriously.
I will say that getting my visa this time was fairly painless. I only made one (!!) external excursion to Staples for the super important document that no one mentioned was needed anywhere, at any time, except when I showed up at the window and the woman chastised me with such disgust you’d think I’d showed up without a passport or something.
And then came the Amazing Race styled trip to the airport. This is more or less what happened, although I will say it all happened so fast I could be mistaken on one or two details. But you get the gist of it.
INT. EKWA’S BEDROOM – MORNING
Ekwa lay asleep, her covers tossed from a fitful night, pillows and second blanket piled on the floor. The alarm goes off, she CURSES under her breath and reaches to turn it off. Groans, rubs her eyes, then peeps at her phone with one eye shut.
INSERT: Phone message reads “Please check your email. Your ticket is booked for today.”
She sits up abruptly, now wide awake, scrolls through to her email account. Her phone projects a hologram of an UNNAMED NOLLYWOOD STAR, 20-something and glammed up to the max, speaking in an accent of course.
UNNAMED NOLLYWOOD STAR: Wake am! Your plane will leave you if you don’t get to the airport in two hours! Go now!
EKWA: WHAT THE-
UNNAMED NOLLYWOOD STAR: Ah-ah! Wetin you dey go or not?
EKWA: But I haven’t even packed my bag!
UNNAMED NOLLYWOOD STAR: Na wa for you! Hurry up and pack now, don’t bring wahala!
The phone started smoking, Ekwa tossed it to the floor just in time for it to self destruct and disappear before her eyes.
The confused expression on her face quickly changes to determination. She sucks her teeth and springs up, upbeat ACTION MUSIC playing in the background.
TO BE CONTINUED…